You might have heard of Taylors Wines, one of Australia’s First Families of Wine. No, we’re not talking about that popular brand of port you sometimes see in wine shops or supermarkets – for three generations the Taylor family has passionately crafted great wines in the Clare Valley, more specifically in the sub-region of Auburn stretching all the way to the Watervale border. It’s a valley best known for producing Riesling wines, but Taylors does more than that, releasing exceptional shiraz, cab savs, and increasingly, tempranillos.
In Singapore, their wines are available through Bottles & Bottles, and the distributor recently flew the winery’s Managing Director Mitchell Taylor over to introduce a new limited edition bottling: The Legacy 2014. Created in celebration of the vineyard’s 50th anniversary, 1,080 bottles were released to select fine wine retailers around the world for RRP A$1,000. The rare wine, a mouth-filling expression of blended Cabernet Sauvignon, features red berry fruit, cedar, and perfumed tobacco on the nose, while nutty cassis drives through the palate. Ultimately a very complete wine in the mouth, The Legacy can be cellared up to 20 years from vintage.
“We rest on the principle that the finest wines are those made with the greatest dedication and care. Above all our imperative is to ‘respect the fruit’.”
Only 18 bottles were shipped to Singapore, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get your hands on a bottle of The Legacy locally. Still, the other wines in the Wakefield range are formidable in their own right. The majority of Taylors wines culminate in the flagship St Andrews range, first released in 1999 and since developing a reputation as benchmark examples of great Clare Valley wine. The St Andrews Shiraz 2016 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 are rich and bold, true to the classic Australian style in both flavour and texture. There’s also the St Andrews Chardonnay 2017 and Riesling 2018 — elegant things crafted to be accompaniments to food.
St Andrews is only released in select vintages, but you’ll also find other exclusive collections like The Visionary and The Pioneer: named after Mitchell Taylor’s granddad and dad respectively, for obvious reasons. The former is the pinnacle of Cabernet Sauvignon that tops the pyramid of wines at Taylors, and the deep garnet Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is layered rich with dark plum, cassis, and subtle chocolate mint, finishing gracefully with long, fine tannins.
The Pioneer is an exceptional Shiraz from the very finest fruit, and has won tens of awards since. The 2014 — the only available bottling at the moment — is dense and chocolatey, revealing tangy red fruit and liquorice nose with some decanting. Think strong woody tannins with plenty of wood-spice from the oak.